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In lieu of content: PERFECT PUDDING Aug. 19th, 2010 @ 11:52 am
So, I'm weeks behind on the internet again, because due to Various Things, including a newly-acquired total inability to sleep (thanks to the assistance of sleeping pills, I can get five hours of restless sleep, HOORAY), my brain and I are really rather struggling at the moment.

If I loved you before, I still love you just as much, I'm just barely keeping body and soul together here.

What else is helping: Yesterday I tried sago pudding again, and it was PERFECT.

Now, my first attempt was good - call it 80% - but my second attempt was absolute, total failure. (Well, near-total. The goop still tasted okay, it was just goop.)

Third attempt was yesterday, and it came out, seriously, PERFECT.

So, here is Sami's Recipe For Sago Pudding That Totally Really Works.

INGREDIENTS: Sago, fruit juice (flavour is your choice, but avoid citrus if you want to have it with cream), brown sugar, pinch of salt, water.

Step 1: Put sago/tapioca seed pearls (same thing) in a bowl. A much, much bigger bowl than you have sago. I used about 2/3 of a cup of sago - note that this will, in the end, require a large saucepan to cook. Assume that you're going to end up with ten to fifteen times as much pudding as you start out with in volume of seeds.

Step 2: Add water. Lots of water. Like, six times as much water as sago, minimum.

Step 3: Leave this to soak. Recipes I've seen on the internet for sago pudding say "soak for an hour", but they clearly do not aim their recipes at people like me (which is to say, people who would probably be as easily distracted as the average kitten even if we didn't have ADHD, which we do), so let's just say that you leave it to soak for "a while". I think I went back to it two or three hours later, having at one point glanced at it, found that the water level was barely keeping up with the sago, and added some more water. Whatever.

Step 4: Drain the sago. I sort of half-rinsed it, in that some of the sago was sticking to the bowl when I poured it into a sieve, so I put some more water in the bowl, swished it around, and poured that onto the sieve as well. The water was still coming off cloudy, but you want *some* starchy stickiness in the pudding, you see. (Thorough rinsing was something I tried with Attempt 2, but a lot went wrong with attempt 2, and I don't know whether that was one of the problems.)

Step 5: Put the sago in a large saucepan BIGGER THAN YOU THINK YOU NEED.

Step 6: Pour juice into the saucepan, so the level's a little higher than the sago. Add brown sugar - I used about two tablespoons of Dark Brown Sugar, the kind that's about as raw as you can get and still call it sugar. It's less purely sweet than white sugar. (Because I live in Australia, sugar, to me, is cane sugar, by the way.)

Step 7: Add a pinch of salt. This is vital! Remember, a pinch of salt in sweet, and a pinch of sweet in savoury. (ONLY A PINCH, dammit. American Processed Food Industry, stay the hell away from me with your high fructose corn syrup bullsugar.) Again, just a pinch, though, no-one wants salty fruity sago pudding.

Step 8: Bring to the boil, then simmer. Stir frequently. Periodically, add more juice as the liquid is absorbed/reduced. Occasionally, taste the liquid; if you reach the point (I did) where it seems like more juice will make it too strongly-flavoured/oversweet (I was using Apple and Blackcurrant juice yesterday), start adding water instead.

You will start to see that some of the seeds have gone transparent - it initially appears as if darker glops are forming in your cloudy juice-coloured pudding stuff. This is good! Your pudding is done when the cloudiness is gone, and the seeds are no longer white at all; instead, your pudding should now be a mass of jewel-like orbs the colour of your juice, holding together stickily. (Maybe I should post a photo at some point.)

Eat at any temperature; if juice choice and dietary requirements suit, could be served with cream or ice cream, or in all sorts of ways, really.
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